THE RT. HON. RAILA A. ODINGA EGH, MP, PRIME MINISTER OF THE REPUBLIC OF KENYA ATTENDS THE UNESCO LEADERS’ FORUM DURING THE 36TH SESSION OF THE UNESCO GENERAL CONFERENCE
The Rt. Hon. Raila Amollo Prime Minister of the republic of Kenya visited UNESCO on 26 October 2011 at the invitation of the UNESCO Director General. The Prime Minister was a keynote speaker at the UNESCO Leader’s forum which was organized as part of the activities of the 36th session of the UNESCO General Conference. The theme of the forum was “How can UNESCO contribute to a culture of peace and sustainable development?”
Other Keynote speakers at the leaders’ forum were: President Pal Schmitt of Hungary, President Ali Bongo Ondimba of Gabon, President Alassane Ouattara of Cote d’Ivoire, President Boris Tadic of Serbia, President Johnson Toribiong of Palau, Prime Minister Tillman Thomas of Grenada, Prime Minister Pascal Irenée KOUPAKI of Benin, Minister-President Kris Peeters of Flanders), First Lady Margarita Cedeno de Fernandez of the Dominican Republic and First Lady Mehriban Aliyeva of Azerbaijan.
In his statement, the Rt. Hon. Prime Minister commended UNESCO for its work on peace and sustainable development since its inception 60 years ago. He stressed the need to nurture and promote peace through partnerships, dialogue and the five areas of UNESCO’s competence especially in Education.
The Rt. Hon. Prime Minister highlighted the paradox of Africa, noting that in spite of its immense wealth and resources, Africa sill faced poverty, conflict, disease, terrorism, piracy and other problems. He said that international cooperation could help alleviate these threats to peace and development.
The Prime Minister highlighted the need for sustained international engagement to reduce conflict and to deal with the many challenges that continue to stifle Africa’s progress and development. He specifically mentioned the problem of Somalia and the challenges it posed to Kenya and the Horn of Africa and called on the international community to redouble its efforts to resolve the conflict in Somalia.
He also joined other Heads of States and Government in paying tribute to Wangari Maathai, for her lifelong commitment to environmental conservation and the promotion of good governance.